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Valentini E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Betti V.,Fondazione Santa Lucia | Betti V.,University of Chieti Pescara | Hu L.,Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality | And 2 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2013

Introduction: Neuroimaging studies indicate that hypnotic suggestions of increased and decreased pain intensity and unpleasantness may modulate somatosensory and cingulate cortex activity, respectively. Methods: Using a within subject design and a strict subject selection procedure, we tested in High (Highs) and Low (Lows) hypnotically suggestible individuals whether hypnotic suggestions of sensory and affective hypoalgesia or hyperalgesia differentially affected subjective ratings of laser-induced pain and nociceptive-related brain activity in the time- and time-frequency domain. Results: Hypnotic modulation of pain intensity and unpleasantness affected subjective ratings of laser-induced pain only in Highs. Such modulation was more specific for unpleasantness manipulation and more evident for suggestions of hyperalgesia. Importantly, Highs and Lows showed increase and decrease of P2a and P2b wave amplitudes and gamma band power, respectively. Conclusions: Hypnotic suggestions exerted a top-down modulatory effect on both evoked and induced-cortical brain responses triggered by selective nociceptive laser inputs. Furthermore, correlation analyses indicated that gamma power modulation and suggestions of hyperalgesia may reflect the process of allocating control resources to salient and threatening sensory-affective dimensions of pain. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Zeng J.,Southwest University | Zeng J.,Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality | Zhang Q.,Southwest University | Chen C.,Southwest University | And 2 more authors.
Brain Research | Year: 2013

Sunk cost effect (also called escalation of commitment, etc) is a pervasive, interesting and famous decision bias, which has been intensively discussed in psychology, economics, management, political science, zoology, etc. To date, little has been known about the neural basis of this phenomenon. We investigated it by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor healthy subjects' brain activities when they made decisions in a task wherein sunk cost and incremental cost were systematically manipulated. Higher sunk cost only increased activity of some brain areas (mainly lateral frontal and parietal cortices, which are involved in risk-taking), whereas lower incremental cost mainly increased activity of some brain areas (including striatum and medial prefrontal cortex, which are sensitive to rewards). No overlapping brain areas were found to respond to both sunk cost and incremental cost. These results favor certainty effect over self-justification or diminishing sensitivity as account of sunk cost effect. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Zeng J.,Southwest University | Zeng J.,Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality | Zou Y.,Southwest University | Zhang Q.,Southwest University
Brain Research | Year: 2013

To study if the neural system responds the same or differently to the same rewards in different social competition conditions, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded as 18 participants engaged in two kinds of decision tasks. In the auction condition (the competition condition), participants were instructed to bid against their competitors and then informed the outcome (failing and gaining no money, or winning and gaining a certain amount of money); in the lottery condition (the neutral condition), subjects were asked to play a lottery against the computer and then informed the outcome (the same as in auction). Scalp ERPs revealed that, in the outcome phase, failing (rewards=0) in auction induced a larger late positive complex response (in the time window of 700-1200 ms) than that in lottery; while winning (rewards>0) in lottery induced a larger late positive complex response (in the time window of 500-800 ms) than that in auction. The present data suggest, when evaluating rewards, our neural systems care about not only rewards themselves, but also how the rewards have been obtained. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Liu L.,Southwest University | Liu L.,Beijing Normal University | Feng T.,Southwest University | Feng T.,Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Humans often show impatience when making intertemporal choice for monetary rewards, preferring small rewards delivered immediately to larger rewards delivered after a delay, which reflects a fundamental psychological principle: delay discounting. However, we propose that episodic prospection humans can vividly envisage exerts a strong and broad influence on individuals' delay discounting. Specifically, episodic prospection may affect individuals' intertemporal choice by the negative or positive emotion of prospection. Methodology/Principal Findings: The present study explored how episodic prospection modulated delay discounting by emotion. Study 1 showed that participants were more inclined to choose the delayed but larger rewards when they imaged positive future events than when they did not image events; Study 2 showed that participants were more inclined to choose the immediate but smaller rewards when they imaged negative future events than when they did not image events; In contrast, study 3 showed that choice preferences of participants when they imaged neutral future events were the same as when they did not image events. Conclusions/Significance: By manipulating the emotion valence of episodic prospection, our findings suggested that positive emotion made individuals tend to choose delayed rewards, while negative emotion made individuals tend to choose immediate rewards. Only imaging events with neutral emotion did not affect individuals' choice preference. Thus, the valence of imaged future events' emotion might play an important role in individuals' intertemporal choice. It is possible that the valence of emotion may affect the changed direction (promote or inhibit) of individuals' delay discounting, while the ability to image future events affects the changed degree of individuals' delay discounting. © 2013 Liu et al. Source


Feng T.,Southwest University | Feng T.,Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality | Feng P.,Southwest University | Chen Z.,Southwest University
Brain Research | Year: 2013

Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and extinction. However, the neural mechanism of automatic memory consolidation of fear conditioning is still unclear. To address this question, we measured brain activity following fear acquisition using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In the current study, we used a marker of fMRI, amplitude of low-frequency (0.01-0.08 Hz) fluctuation (ALFF) to quantify the spontaneous brain activity. Brain activity correlated to fear memory consolidation was observed in parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus in resting-state. Furthermore, after acquired fear conditioning, compared with control group some brain areas showed ALFF increased in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in the experimental group, whereas some brain areas showed decreased ALFF in striatal regions (caudate, putamen). Moreover, the change of ALFF in vmPFC was positively correlated with the subjective fear ratings. These findings suggest that the parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus are the neural substrates of fear memory consolidation. The difference in activity could be attributed to a homeostatic process in which the vmPFC and ACC were involved in the fear recovery process, and change of ALFF in vmPFC predicts subjective fear ratings. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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